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February 22, 2013

Community

Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month talk Feb. 27 at ACS

Parents wanting more information about Teen Dating Violence prevention can attend a Wednesday, Feb. 27 presentation from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Army Community Service Center, building 2111, at Fort McCoy.

Amanda Falkers, new Fort McCoy victim advocate, said Teen Dating Violence prevention is observed during February. The Department of Justice defines the most at-risk population as youth in the age 16 to 24 bracket, who have a risk triple the rate of any other group.

“Teen dating violence can happen to anyone,” Falkers said. “This month helps raise parental awareness.”

The Feb. 27 event will last approximately one hour and include a question-and-answer-session. Falkers said it will feature facts about teen dating violence and what to do to prevent it.

Terry Rogalla, Fort McCoy Family Advocacy program manager, said one of the keys to preventing teen dating violence is good communication between parents and youth.

“The biggest problems we see are when parents don’t know what’s going on with their children or who they’re hanging out with,” Rogalla said. “We know dating violence is out there and we want to help teens and their parents prevent it and know how to intervene when it happens. Having open communication and a solid relationship with each other is essential to this effort.”

Having the Family Advocacy program, among other resources, provides information to the Fort McCoy community and enables any interested person to research the topic to help them become aware of the issue and how to prevent it, Rogalla said. In addition, taking steps against teen dating violence also can help prevent future domestic violence problems by helping youth know how to make safer and healthier relationship decisions when they are younger and beginning to date.

The Army Community Service (ACS) Center also has a Resource Library with information about many Family related topics, including teen dating violence, he said. Authorized patrons can check out the materials to use on and off the installation.

For more information about Teen Dating Violence prevention, call ACS at 608-388-3505 or stop in at 2111 South 8th Ave.

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